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The Capitol City Summit: Our Annual Peer Group Event

More than 100 landscaping professionals gathered in Washington, DC last month at the Capitol City Summit, the Growth Network’s annual three-day educational event. The Growth Network is an industry peer group made up of seven landscaping companies across the U.S., including Focal Pointe. The other firms are: Level Green Landscaping of Maryland, who hosted this year’s summit; Native Land Design in Texas; Duke’s Landscape Management in New Jersey; Conserve LandCare in California; Mike Ward Landscaping in Ohio; and Greenscape, Inc. in North Carolina.

Because the companies are from different geographical areas, they aren’t competitors. This allows attendees to openly exchange corporate best practices, financial information, and business models. Each person attending the summit is assigned to a group that stays together for the entire event, forming a “peer group within a peer group” to discuss issues and successes with others in similar roles.

This year’s summit focused on productivity and time management. Keynote speaker, Steve McClatchy, gave a highly informative and impactful presentation entitled, Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead By Example. Attendees came away with useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts that they could implement right away.

For example, one tip that McClatchy presented was to draft frequently used email text (such as introductory or sales follow-up emails) and attach them to a unique signature in Microsoft Outlook, eliminating the need to retype them every time they are used. Another recommendation was to begin every day with a schedule, or plan, and to look at all of your tasks and decide: can I delegate, make it automatic, systematize it, or stop doing it?

Focal Pointe Account Manager, TJ Rau, said, “Steve McClatchy was one of those speakers who keeps you engaged from start to finish. His tips for protecting your time and focusing on efficiency can help anyone be more productive. It really made me think about how valuable small amounts of time can be.”

John O’Connell, Controller, said, “One of my key takeaways from Steve McClatchy’s keynote discussion is the importance of ‘defending your calendar’ so that last-minute items that come up don’t derail your whole day.”

Other summit presentations included Make Time for Relationships by Mark Adamson; Strategies for Personal Productivity by Kevin Kehoe; and a college professor panel discussion on The State of College Recruiting: What You Need to Do to Attract Talent.

The Capitol City Summit closed with presentations from each of the smaller groups, who showcased their creativity through skits, songs, or videos as a way to wrap-up the event. All of Focal Pointe’s attendees agree – the days spent in DC at the Capitol City Summit were filled with great networking and learning opportunities.


Images courtesy Level Green Landscaping.

To read more about the 2018 Summit, visit:

Click here to read about last year’s Summit, hosted by Focal Pointe at St. Louis’s Busch Stadium.